Tribute To Moturu Udayam

BUILDER of the women's movement in Andhra Pradesh and honorary president of Andhra Pradesh Mahila Sangham, Comrade Moturu Udayam passed away on March 31, 2002 at about 5:45 p.m. in Vijayawada. She was 78. She was ailing for the last four years. She is survived by two daughters, Dr.Tanya and Dr.Usha. Com. Udayam was the wife of veteran CPI(M) leader Com. Moturu Hanumantha Rao, who passed away recently.
Com. Udayam was born on October 13, 1924 at Turumella village in Guntur district. Hailing from a communist family, she married Com MH and along with him spent underground life during the period of repression on the communist movement from 1940-45 and 1949-51 and again during the period of Emergency. As the main artist in the first all-women /Burrakatha /(a popular folk art form) team, Com. Udayam campaigned against fascism extensively and popularised people's arts.
As a builder of the women's movement in the state, Com. Udayam was associated with it from the beginning. As general secretary of A P Mahila Sangham for 18 years and as honorary president from 1992 to 2001, she acted as the guiding force of the movement. She was vice-president of AIDWA since its inception in 1981 till last year. A tireless worker, Com. Udayam relentlessly worked for mobilising women, educating and raising their consciousness by conducting political classes, and involving them in people's movement on any issue organised by the CPI(M). She, along with Manikonda Suryavathi and Mallu Swarajyam, worked relentlessly for rebuilding the women's movement after the split in 1964. She was actively involved in organising a movement demanding release of detenues during the period of repression in the early 1960s.
Known as the first woman in the State to peddle a cycle, Com.Udayam symbolised the self-confidence of women. She organised Karate training classes for women, with the help of the Youth Service of Malaysia. On the invitation of the Chinese women's organisation, she visited China in 1988.
Rich tributes were paid to Com. Udayam by the leaders of political parties and mass organisations. The AP state committee of the CPI(M) condoled her death. B V Raghavulu, state secretary of the Party, in a statement said that at an early age Com. Udayam was attracted towards the communist movement and devoted her entire life for the cause of the movement of the CPI(M). Her role in building the women's movement in the state is immense.
L B Gangadhara Rao, former member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M), termed Com. Udayam's death as an irreparable loss to the movement in the state. He recollected her tireless efforts in building the women's movement in the State. Mallu Swarajyam, vice president of AIDWA, and S Punyavathy and T Pavani, president and general secretary respectively of the state committee of AIDWA, recollected the efforts of Com Udayam in building and guiding the women's movement and said her life would inspire the youth.
The A P state secretariat of the CPI condoled the death of Com. Udayam and recalled her role in building several movements with Vijayawada as the centre and the propagation of communist principles. The chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in his condolence message said Udayam was a prominent builder of the communist movement and relentlessly struggled for the cause of women.
The body of Com Udayam was kept at the office of the CPI(M) in Vijayawada where leaders and sympathisers paid floral tributes to her. On April 1, her body was taken out in a procession to the local electric crematorium. Thousands of women, leaders and cadres of the CPI(M) and front organisations and sympathisers participated in the procession. After consigning the mortal remains of Com. Udayam to flames, a condolence meeting was organised there. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Koratala Satyanarayana said Com. Udayam, in her entire six and a half decade political life, was a fighter who moved forward facing all difficulties in the struggle for establishing a socialist society. Her life is an inspiration to one and all.
Speakers at a condolence meeting organised by AIDWA at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in Hyderabad on April 7, called for strengthening the women's movement, drawing inspiration from the life and work of Com Udayam. Leaders of various orgaisations paid rich tribute to Com. Udayam.